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Creating 3D Maps

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Hello. I''ve worked through up to Lesson 10 at Nehe. I''ve finally sorted out how everything in that lesson works, but now I''m wondering how real 3D maps are made. It seems rather time consuming to punch in the vertices of every triangle on screen. There must be a better way. So, my main question is, what kinds of tools do people use to generate 3D maps? What map file formats are used? I''d love to look into making my own 3D map editor and map format (and in that way be able customize my map style), but I have no knowledge in that area. If there are any super tutorials about that out there, please tell me!

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You have total creative freedom when it comes to that. I personally really like Milkshape (www.milkshape3d.com). I have my own utility I''m working on (MDIModeler I call it) - you can see it on my site if you want to look.

There are dozens of other free tools out there - Blender3D, Rhino, Anim8or, gmax, Maya, Bryce, 3D Studio Max, Lightwave... the list goes on and on.

Making your own map editor has its plusses and minuses of course, I can tell you that I''ve had an absolute blast working on MDIModeler even knowing the finished product won''t be a tenth of any of the products I listed. Also, you know a file format you create better than one anyone else created.

Have fun with it, that''s what it''s all about

Love means nothing to a tennis player

My nothing-to-write-home-about OpenGL webpage. (please pardon the popups!)

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I use 3dsmax to create my geometry, texture placement, etc. I wrote a Maxscript to export the scene into a custom file format, so I''m not stuck to 3ds, or any other file 3dsmax can export as default.
Like DalTXColtsFan said, writing your own editor would give you absolute control.
You would learn a lot along the way too.
However, it would take much more time to devlope.

I used maxscript because its interperted, fast devlopment, freedom to create own file format, 3dsmax tools are great for game development.

Best of luck

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